Former assistant DA starts new firm: Walsh & Nguyen open for business

Chris Walsh left his role as chief assistant to the district attorney in 2021, but his passion for law continues.

After serving under former Nevada County District Attorney Cliff Newell, Walsh and his colleague Kenny Nguyen — who was also a prosecutor for the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office — now run a private practice, Walsh & Nguyen, out of Nevada City which they started in November 2022.

“I am very experienced in criminal law, but was at a point where I was ready to do something different,” Walsh said. “I tried for a time working for a big firm in Sacramento, but my love and experience is in criminal law, so I decided I was tired of some of the politics of being involved in DA offices and wanted to try out private practice.”

Walsh said so far he has been “pleasantly surprised” by his new practice, and the straight-forwardness that comes with it. He appreciated a more singular focus.

“In the DA (office) you don’t prosecute what you want, but the reality is there is so much pressure from certain groups and if you do your job right, you are not always making people happy. It can be a lot of pressure,” Walsh said. “Just representing clients, if you believe in their case, if you feel like they have cause, you are excited about taking, you take on the client. You can always decide the case (you accept). It’s very freeing. That makes the job that much more enjoyable.”

The attorney said he loves his job. He loves being a lawyer and considers himself lucky to wake up each morning knowing he gets to pursue his passion. With his new endeavor, Walsh said, he can spend more time on cases and with the clients he represents.

Additionally, Walsh said he left behind the pressures of working in a district attorney’s office but is grateful for the experience of serving in his former role there.

“I feel like I have a great depth of experience from being in that role,” Walsh said. “I think it gives me a strong and unique perspective, being on the defense side now. I know what the elements are. I have a tremendous amount of trial experience. I know the prosecutors who are good at going to trial and those who are afraid of going.”

Walsh & Nguyen represent clients with varying needs, and help people seek financial justice whether they are up against an insurance company or a private entity.

“I want people to know there are a lot of lawyers out there, but what we find is that our firm is perfect for the type of individual who has never been in trouble before, but is suddenly facing criminal charges,” Walsh said. “We help people avoid serious consequences. Just because someone has been charged doesn’t mean they’re guilty, and having a good defense attorney who knows the system can make all the difference.”

Walsh & Nguyen is located at 224 Church St. in Nevada City.